Lateral Reflections in Home Cinemas - December 17th, 2008
A factor which has been found to be important for the listener is the presence of dense diffuse reflections from the side walls in a home cinema room, called lateral reflections. The effect of these is to envelop or bathe the listener in sound and this has been found to be necessary, in order to experience maximum enjoyment from the home cinema system.
It is important that these reflections be diffuse, as specular reflections in home cinema installations will result in disturbing comb filter effects, and distracting images of the sound sources in unwanted and unusual directions. Providing diffuse reflections in custom home cinema installations is thus important and this has been recognised for some time. Traditionally, the use of plaster mouldings, niches and other decorative surface irregularities have been used to provide diffusion in an ad hoc manner.
More recently diffusion structures based on patterns of wells whose depths are formally defined by an appropriate mathematical sequence have been proposed and used, in many high end home cinema designs. However, it is not just the provision of diffusion on the side walls that must be considered when designing a dedicated home cinema room.